Here are 3 of the most common job search questions that appear on forums (and that I get asked by clients).
(1) How do you write your resume for a mid-life career change?
For a mid-life career change or job search, you need to do a lot more than list positions. You need to demonstrate the ways you contributed to each position.
Present your experience as a series of success stories. You don’t have “duties.” You have “responsibilities.”
Focus on outcomes, not process.
Most important, your resume shouldn’t be the first time an employer sees your name. Some people do get a good job after sending in a resume “cold.” But if you can pave the way with networking and introductions, you’re far more likely to be successful.
(2) When on an interview, what are the tough questions to anticipate?
On job interviews, your single biggest asset is your own confidence. When you’re confident you’ll say and so the right things automatically.
Interview only for jobs you genuinely want or you’ll self-sabotage your interests.
Expect the usual questions about strengths and weaknesses, along with questions about why you’re leaving your past job and what your goals are.
There are two keys to successful answers.
— Focus your answers on the company’s benefit, not yours. The best way to deal with any tough question is to tell a story. For instance, “What are your strengths?” calls for an example of how you demonstrated your strengths.
— Share stories, not soundbites. If asked about your strengths, share a story where you did well. If asked about weaknesses, share how you were successful by working around a weakness.
Ultimately, because interviews depend on quirks of the interviewer, there are no foolproof strategies. Your interviewer might like short, one-word answers. Or she might want a ridiculously long, drawn out story.
Be aware that many perfectly nice, reasonable people have no clue about how to interview. In fact, research consistently shows that interviews rarely produce ideal match-ups between companies and employers.
And some of those evil interviewers will make great coworkers, once you’re on the payroll and officially declared an “insider.”
(3) How important are other “self-marketing” avenues like LinkedIn for a midlife career changer or job seeker?
Other avenues are critical. At any career stage, but especially at midlife career stages, you’re likely to get your next job from networking.
LinkedIn is a great way to build relationships. Invest the time to create a strong profile that is consistent with your resume. Include summaries of your accomplishments. Be aware that your current boss will have access to this profile, if you’re still employed.
Of course, we can’t cover these topics in just one article. If you’d like a consultation, we can go into more depth. Most of my clients tell me they need just a single session…and often that one session helps them more than 3 months with another coach. Click here to learn more.